Wednesday, December 28, 2011

10 Conversion Optimization Posts You Must Read

You will find many examples of how various headlines, call to actions etc. can be tested to drive more conversions and how many companies have successfully done so. Maybe you have done it too. However deep inside you know that moving the needle from 3% to 4% is huge but still there are 96% of your visitors/visits that did not convert. I have compiled a list of some of my blog posts that show you how can move the needle further up by taking action on things that are generally not found in tips and tricks books and articles.

  1. 5 Things That Could Be Hindering Your Conversions
    In this post I have listed 5 fundamental things that are part of most of the online forms but could be preventing the visitors from converting.
  2. Underline the Clickable Text and Link the Pictures
    Sometimes you just have to do it without doing testing. Underlining the clickable text and linking the picture to a page are few of those things that really do not require testing.
  3. Are Form Validations Invalidating Your Conversions?
    Are the data validations on your sites form hindering your conversions? This posts gives you something to think about.
  4. Is CAPTCHA Eating Up Your Conversions?
    Though CAPTCHA is a great tool for blocking spam it could be coming in the way of user experience and resulting in a lower conversion than you would have had without it.
  5. 7 Ways Of Handling 404 Error Messages  - 404s are hard to avoid. Even if you have done everything correctly users might mistype the URLs and get a 404 on your site.  This post shows you how various companies are handling them effectively to drive engagement and conversions.
  6. Conversion Optimization: Go Beyond A/B Testing and MVT
    A/B testing and MVT are a great way to help you drive more conversion on your website. A/B testing and MVT help you decide the best layout, headlines, images, message copy etc. that motivates the visitors to complete a transaction.
    However, A/B testing and MVT will only get you so far. If a visitor does not complete a transaction during later steps of the funnel then there are generally other reasons than those that can be simply fixed by changing the page layout, copy, images etc. .
  7. Is Your Conversion Rate Wrong? – This post explains how your conversion rate calculations are wrong.
  8. Conversion Tip: Making the Most of the Email Confirmation Thank you Page  -
    Thank you and confirmation pages are the most ignored pages. This post shows how to effectively use those pages to drive further engagement and conversions.
  9. Are you Optimizing the Wrong Steps of the Conversion Process?
    Due to organizational structure, many marketers/analysts get a partial view of the customers’ conversion process data.  This results in optimizing the wrong steps of the conversion funnel /channel. I describe my recent experience while purchasing a laptop to show how focusing on one channel only can lead to wrong
  10. Most likely your Conversion Rate is Wrong
    Most of the web analytics tools just allow you to see a view of single channel conversion rate i.e. web conversion rate. However, as I discussed in my post "Are you Optimizing the Wrong Steps of the Conversion Process?", customers don’t care how your channels are divided or who is responsible for what channel at your organization. They care about their money and will use whatever channel they feel most comfortable with.  Are you considering other channels when calculating your conversion rates?
And a bonus:
Significance of Statistically Significant Results in A/B Testing

Do not make the mistake of jumping the conclusions too quickly when running A/B tests, wait for statistically significant results.

I hope 2012 will bring you lot more conversions. Happy New Year!!!

Comments? Questions?

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Monday, December 19, 2011

One Prediction and Five Web Analytics Tips for 2012

For past few years I have made several predictions about Web Analytics. This year I am going to make only one prediction but will provide five tips for 2012.


This year the push will be towards “Multichannel Analytics”. Integration of various data sources, e.g. email, CRM, social media, call center etc. , with Web Analytics will take center stage.

Five Tips for Web Analytics

  1. Expand your web analytics to consider other data sources
    We all know by now that no one channel exists in isolation. Web, email, mobile, social media, catalog, stores, call centers etc. all impact each other. Web is a just one part of the customer’s experience and journey towards purchase. To fully understand customer behavior and optimize your marketing you have to go beyond web analytics and look at data from other channels.
  2. Move from “How Many” to “Who”
    Majority of the web analyst today analyze “How Many” e.g. how many people landed, how many bounced, how many converted etc. “How many” is a great start but it is time for you move to “Who”, e.g. who bounced, who did not convert etc. and then think about how to engage with those “Who” did or did not do something. (if you need help with this then ping me)
  3. Understand the data structure behind your web analytics data
    I am surprised that many web analysts today don’t understand how the web data is structured, how it is collected, where all the variables that are passed in your JavaScript end up at and how various data elements are related to each other. If you are one of those analysts, take some time to understand the data structure. Open a raw web server log file and start from there. If you company is porting the web analytics data into a database then open up that database and look under the hood.
  4. Learn SQL
    This is going to be critical. You can only do limited segmentation and optimization with aggregated data that is provided in the web analytics tools interface. To really understand customer behavior and capitalize on that you should be able to extract the data from the backend. Even if you are not going extract the data yourself, having an understanding of SQL will give you tons of ideas on segmentation, optimization and targeting.
  5. Make friends with “HiPP” (Highest Paid Person) and say goodbye to “HiPPO”
    HiPP is your friend, not foe. If you really want to create a culture of analytics in your organization then make friends with HiPP, get them on your side. You need their support. Stop using the term “HiPPO”.

Comments? Questions?

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Do you need Real-Time Web Analytics?

Real-time web analytics provides you a view into what is happening on your site at that very moment. It is really interesting to see where visitors are coming from, what keywords they are searching, what pages they are viewing etc. Though most of the time that’s where it ends i.e. it is interesting but not very valuable. As many web analysts have stated time and again, the value of the analytics comes from the action you take on that data. So, unless you are going to take actions in real time you really don’t need real-time analytics. However, I can understand the temptation to use Real Time Analytics for instant gratification.

Side Bar:
Recently Google Analytics joined the bandwagon of providing Real-Time analytics. Other notable real time web analytics vendors include Chartbeat, Woopra. As of now, Google analytics only provides a very limited view of real time stats at this point, though I am assuming that it is just the beginning and Google will roll out more stats in its real time reports. 

Few cases where you might want to (or be tempted to) use Real-Time Analytics
  • You launched a new campaign e.g. paid search, email newsletter, TV ad , and would like to see how people are reacting to those campaigns.
  • You added new promotions on your site and want to see how visitors are reacting to those promotions, so that you can tweak those promotions in real time.
  • You added new stories, links etc. and want to see if anybody is clicking on them so that you can make some changes based on instant feedback. I can see the usefulness of this feature for news and media sites.
  • You made some technical changes e.g. changed tracking code and want to see if those pages are being recorded in Google Analytics. Real time reports can serve as QA tools.
  • You launched a new feature on your site, launched a video, deployed a new game and would like to know if your visitors are using it or not.
Keep in mind that even if you are ready to make changes in real time, you might not have statistically significant results based on few data points that you get in real time reports. If you have nothing better to do then you can for sure kill your time with some real time view into your site traffic.

Views from Twitter

What do you think? Have you found Real time analytics to be useful? How are you using it? Please share your views.

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